The Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida works closely with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and other public and private partners to protect the full array of our state’s native animals and plants and the lands and waters they need to survive. We are also dedicated to ensuring public access to Florida’s outstanding natural areas, and we work closely with the Florida Youth Conservation Center Network to help provide 100,000 children and adolescents every year with formative outdoor experiences. Since 1994, the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida has raised and given away more than $25 million to support conservation. Recent grants include the following:
- Given $325,000 to outfit the new Suncoast Youth Conservation Center in Apollo Beach with kayaks, fishing gear, binoculars, microscopes, aquariums, furniture and much more.
- Purchased with Volusia County’s help a one-acre parcel in New Smyrna Beach as a public boat launch managed by the nonprofit Marine Discovery Center.
- Made a $325,000 challenge grant, matched by a $500,000 State appropriation, to provide homeowners across Florida with bear-proof garbage cans to minimize bear-human conflicts.
- Invested $36,000 in successful development of a smartphone app for reporting fish disease and mortality events.
- Made grants of $450,000 over the past three years to multiple organizations working to restore and conserve Florida’s famous freshwater springs.
- Provided $70,000 for improving mobility-impaired access to state Wildlife Management Areas as well as funding for new deer-cleaning stations.
- Provided $261,000 in research funds for the critically endangered Florida Grasshopper Sparrow.
- Cooperated with the Florida Aquarium and Tampa Electric Company to grow native corals for restoring dead reefs in the Florida Keys.
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Founding FWFF Board Member has passed away
The Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida mourns the passing of one of its founding members. Dr. C.T. (Tom) Rainey, an honored Miami veterinarian, longtime active member of the Orange Bowl Committee and other civic organizations, passed away peacefully on June 15, 2017.
Tom was a founding member of the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida, serving from 1994 until 2010. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Florida Veterinary Medical Association in 1985 and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Georgia in 2003. He was named to the Orange Bowl Committee in 1981, as well as to the Board of the Baptist Hospital Foundation.
Anglers can take advantage of more Gulf red snapper fishing starting this weekend
This Friday, June 16, begins the first weekend of an additional 39-day season for recreational red snapper fishing in Gulf federal waters and changes to the state season. The U.S. Department of Commerce announced these expanded fishing opportunities today, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) followed with an executive order setting the updated season in state waters. The 39-day season is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Friday, June 16, through Monday, Sept. 4. Also included are Monday and Tuesday, July 3 and 4, and Monday, Sept. 4.
A Stitch in Time Saves Nine (or more) Turtles: Pembroke Pines Teenager Knits for Conservation
While most high school seniors spent the fall and winter sweating over their college admission essays, Pembroke Pines High School senior Savannah Bergeron polished hers off quickly. Then she got back to her passion of the last two years — creating hand-knitted turtles to raise money and awareness to conserve Florida’s wide variety of native turtles.
Florida has 26 species of turtles, more than any other state, including all five of the world’s endangered sea turtle species. The Sunshine State is also home to the gopher tortoise, an ancient race whose ancestors appeared in the western United States 60 million years ago.
Despite an almost complete ban on commercial turtle harvesting, Florida’s turtle populations, as elsewhere, continue to decline due to habitat loss and a thriving black market for turtle meat and shells. Many of Florida’s turtles are now threatened or endangered.
Savannah Bergeron wanted to bring attention to this situation and find a way to do something about it. In 2017, she began knitting and selling toy turtles to raise money for turtle conservation. To date, she has raised and donated $2,268 to the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida (FWFF) for turtle and tortoise conservation. She comes by her passion naturally; her great-great-grandfather was one of the first Everglades park rangers, and her grandfather is a commissioner of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
No Better Time to Help Protect Florida Springs
Florida’s freshwater springs are one of the world’s natural wonders. Beautiful and cool, they have provided an oasis for wildlife and humans for tens of thousands of years. They are under threat from groundwater pollution and other environmental stresses, but you can help us protect them by buying the “Protect Florida Springs” license plate. $25 from each plate comes to the Foundation to support research, education, restoration and conservation of these irreplaceable springs. They may not hold the Fountain of Youth for us, but we have the ability to make sure they live forever. Please check out our new Springs page, developed with our sister non-profit, Sea2Shore: http://sea2shore.org/ and our new Springs plate page https://flspringsplate.com/. Thank you for supporting conservation!
"The Foundation awarded $220,000 to manage 16 newly designated FWC Critical Wildlife Areas, which include rookeries for shorebirds and wading birds like the roseate spoonbill.” Photo Credit FWC.
Fish & Wildlife Foundation Awards $345,000 in Florida Conservation Grants
Children, bears and birds were the primary beneficiaries of $345,000 in conservation grants given out this week by the nonprofit Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida (FWFF).
Meeting on Key Largo, the FWFF Board of Directors approved a $100,000 grant to help local communities purchase bear-resistant trash cans for homeowners. This follows the Foundation’s 2016 grant of $325,000 for bear-resistant cans, which was matched by a $500,000 commitment by the State of Florida. Human-bear conflict is increased when food is in garbage cans that bears can open, said Foundation Board Chair Richard A. Corbett, in explaining the Foundation’s commitment to this program.
Richard Corbett Named Foundation Chair
Tampa businessman and FWC Chairman Emeritus Richard A. “Dick” Corbett has been elected chair of the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida.
The appointment came during the March 27 – 28 meeting of the board of directors of the nonprofit foundation.
“I’m very pleased to be turning the gavel over to Dick Corbett,” said outgoing Foundation Chair Rodney Barreto, who is stepping down as chair to lead Miami’s preparation for the 2020 Super Bowl. “Dick is a life-long conservationist and outdoorsman and has served the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and our Foundation for many years. He brings considerable dedication and business acumen to this role.”
Former FL House Speaker Steve Crisafulli Joins Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida Board
Civic leader and agribusinessman Steve Crisafulli has been appointed to a three-year term to the Board of Directors of the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida.
A seventh-generation Floridian, Mr. Crisafulli continues to work lands owned for nearly a century by his family from Merritt Island. He was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2008 and served as Speaker of the House for the 2014 – 2016 term, the first Brevard County native to do so.
Foundation Board Chair Rodney Barreto said he was delighted to welcome Mr. Crisafulli to the Board. “Steve has been an extraordinary leader in all of his community, business and legislative endeavors. His thoughtful pragmatism, deep ties to the land, and dedication to preserving Florida’s natural heritage and traditional outdoor past-times make him an ideal addition to our Board.”
- Celebrating 75 Years of Florida's Wildlife Management Areas
- Florida Endangered Species Plan Approved
- Foundation Announces 2016 BlueGreen Awards
- Foundation, FWC & NPS Visit Miami’s Columbus High School